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Thread: Japanese to know upon arrival

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Mmmm mmmm mmm mmmm mmm sou ka would be even better, with the best results including vigorous head nodding.

    Someone's doing that right this moment in fact.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    Mmmm mmmm mmm mmmm mmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  3. #63
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Here's the basic Japanese I sent to my family before they came over. If you really are starting from nothing, I think these should cover the most basic social interactions when you first arrive:

    はい hai (sounds like "high") = Means "yes", but is also said to indicate you're listening or you understood someone. If you make a request, their reaction is more telling than hearing "hai".

    いいえ iie (sounds like "ee-ay") = Means "no", but you won't hear it much. People familiar with foreigners will probably use an X gesture made with their fingers or their arms to express "no" or "don't". If you're making a request and someone takes in a deep breath and says something like "muzukashi" (lit. "difficult", sounds like moo-zoo-kah-she) it means "no". A sad expression with a long stream of polite apologies means "no". Extreme reluctance in general should be taken as "no".

    お願い します onegai shimasu
    (sounds like "oh-neigh-guy-she-moss") = A standard polite way to say "please". You can also say kudasai (sounds like "coo-duh-sigh") for "please", but I feel like "onegaishimasu" is the safer choice since it applies to more situations. Either way, you can get your point across. When it's useful:

    • ordering food (point at your choice and say "onegaishimasu")
    • answering in the affirmative ("Do you want this?" "Onegaishimasu")
    • any other time you want to say please

    大丈夫 です daijoubu desu
    (sounds like "die-joe-boo dess") = Means "OK" or "I'm fine" or "I'm fine without [what you're offering]". If said as a question, (Daijoubu desu ka?) it means "Are you alright?" or "Is that OK?"

    Sounds complex, but survival usage is pretty easy:
    Someone offers you something. Do you want it? / Someone offers you help. Do you need help?

    Yes -> say "onegaishimasu"
    No -> say "daijoubu desu" (waving you hands will further emphasize "no")

    ありがとう arigatou
    (sounds like "ah-ree-gah-toe") = Means "thank you". If you forget, "sankyuu" (thank you) is understood by most people nowadays too. In any case, be sure to show your appreciation. Truthfully adults often don't bother saying thank you to service people, but I like having good manners.

    わかりません wakarimasen
    (sounds like "wah-kah-ree-mah-sen") = A standard way to say "I don't understand."

    But probably the most important word of all is this:

    すみません sumimasen (sounds like "sue-mee-mah-sen") = It's used all the time to mean "I'm sorry", "Excuse me", "Sorry to be a bother" and even "Thank you" depending on the context. Any time you approach a stranger or service worker, this is a good way to start your conversation. If a restaurant doesn't have a buzzer, you're expected to yell sumimasen to get the waitress/waiter's attention.

    Also, you can introduce yourself by saying this: "Hajimemashite. Watashi wa (your name) desu." (sounds like "hah-gee-meh-mosh-tay. wah-tah-she wah (your name) dess.") It basically means "My name is ___. Nice to meet you."

    Here are a few extra words you might hear since they're used a lot. I include them just because they highlight some cultural differences since they are really hard to translate into English.

    よろしく yoroshiku [+onegai shimasu] = Used when it's understood you and your audience will be undertaking some task in cooperation and are asking for their support, be it direct or indirect. It's also usually said at the end of a self-introduction. It's also used similar to how we'd say "Give my regards to (someone)."

    頑張る ganbaru = It's a verb often used in the imperative form "Ganbatte!" It's used in a similar fashion to express "good luck", but with more emphasis on encouraging the listener to do one's best and keep trying.

    お疲れ様でした otsukaresama deshita
    = Could translate as "you have worked hard". More literally "You are tired". Said to anyone, especially peers and coworkers, when you want to acknowledge their efforts. But it's used for even trivial, clearly not physically exerting tasks. The concept of "tiredness" due to exertion, physically or otherwise, is valued. You'll also probably be told to "rest" and "be careful not to catch a cold" a lot, if you appear to be working hard. (In response, you'd probably apologize for making them worry about you and keep working.)

    お先に失礼します osaki ni shitsurei shimasu = Translates literally as "I'm being rude by going before you". It is commonly said when you leave work to go home to acknowledge the other people who are still (supposedly) working hard. Guys especially tend to shorten it to "osaki shimasu". But it can be used in other situations, like if you're waiting for someone to arrive at a dinner but they tell you to start eating without them. It would be polite to say "Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu" before you start eating.

    お邪魔します / 失礼します ojama shimasu / shitsurei shimasu = Translates as "I'm being a bother." or "I'm being rude." When entering a room or someone's house, you announce your presence by saying "ojama shimasu" or "shitsurei shimasu". I'm sure there are technical differences between the two, but in practice I usually see: enter someone's house = "ojama shimasu", enter a room inside of a larger building = "shitsurei shimasu". And if you're entering a room of an important person (i.e. your principal's office) you should say "shitsurei shimashita" when you leave ("I was totally rude just now").
    Last edited by Ebi; April 21st, 2015 at 18:40.

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